Tuesday, 11 February 2014

CAS & Ego

I've been reading. I don't say that to shock you. I read a lot. I make no secret about the fact that I love a good read. And I know, I don't usually share what I finger through on here. That's because it's so wide ranging and not always relevant to what I am posting.

But today is different. I read a book that's only been out for a few weeks, called Die Empty by Todd Henry. It's a gloomy title I'll grant you. The reason I bought it is because I'm a big fan of Todd's better known, The Accidental Creative.

I enjoyed the content and made a few notes as I was turning the pages but nothing particularly spoke to me until I reached the chapter on Being Confidently Adaptable. The one which begins "This Chapter is for everyone but you. In this chapter we'll be dealing with the effects of an overinflated ego." And yes, he read me correctly. I started to mentally harumph at reading about inflated egos. It's not a problem I have, I can easily skip this section. And my finger momentarily hovered on the skip to next page button. But I felt challenged by the opening sentence, so despite myself, I read on.

What made me sit up was a passage on value and complexity. How when we are creative, we sometimes incorrectly assume that in order for an idea, design or piece of art to be seen as worthy by our peers, it must be complex. I recognised myself in this. I all too easily have dismissed my own ideas because they are too simple.  I have, in the past, felt I could only share projects with the world which have taken a good deal of time to make, have been complex to piece together or involve a new technique.

My ego has gotten in the way. Good design ideas and creative projects have been cast aside because I have deemed them too simple. Even if the design is near perfect. It went into my mental trash bin. Whether for my work or my hobby.

So I've done a simple CAS card. I could tell you that it's harder to do, as more attention and focus is on what little detail remains. I could impress upon you (and myself) how culturally significant and intellectual the art of minimalism is, to lend it some gravitas. To satisfy my ego. To have approval from my peers.

But no. Today, I've made a card that took just a couple of minutes to put together. Not because I deliberately wanted to prove a point. It's an idea I've had and dismissed in the past. I knew I'd love the look of it and it would excite tingling goosebumps of satisfaction in me. It's a good design. I would go all funny inside if I received something like it in the post from someone else.

This is the kind of card my ego doesn't want me to make or to share. I want you to think and know I could do much more. But this is a card I'd buy if I saw it in a shop or on Etsy.

I love that I have discovered this about myself. I'm now going to hopefully weigh up my future creative ideas differently. I love complex projects. I love simple projects. And if they both give great pleasure when making and fulfil their purpose, then they have equal value. That is, once my over inflated ego is told to take a hike.


Stamps: Clearly Besotted - Geometric Style


Gabby said...

CAS perfection, Paul! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Sometimes, I too feel that way. Yet, some of my favorite designers stun me with their CAS cards, which say so much with a little design and lots of white space. I guess we need to follow our hearts and remember that some of the best things in life are simple and uncomplicated. :)

Anonymous said...

Super card! I prize minimalism. But I don't have a blog and don't enter challenges because minimalism takes waaaaaayyyyy more time thinking than doing. AND I don't know what the criterion is for "good design."


Marjolein said...

Thanks for sharing.
It takes courage to be honest to yourself, but it also helps you to explore other roads.
It's the journey that counts!
It shouldn't matter what everyone else thinks of your artwork, as long as you're satisfied and had a good time being creative with whatever you want to make. (sorry for my Dunglish)
As for your card, I like so many styles, your card is genius!!
The focal point is where it should be!
One thing is for sure, you've made your (focal)point! :-)


Lindsay Mason said...

What a deeply interesting post that was and I really do like your card - it's clean and simple yet stylish and full of contrasts. Bit like you really...except for the simple bit of course! Hope to see you very soon,
Lindsay x x

alexa said...

Well, you know that I am just going to love it, of course. LOVE IT. 100%. So please just keep doing what makes you happy - because it will make us happy too :).

wienerhoneymooners said...

Brilliance in it's simplicity, yet I feel it conveys deeply. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and creativity!

Deirdremf said...

I love your simple and elegant design. However being a true gemini, I also love more complicated designs. I like your blog and read all your posts. Your designs inspire me.